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Learn the Skill of Effective Bragging (Timing is Everything)

By Gina Novelle
Posted Friday, December 10, 2004

Since women view this aspect of the game with such distaste, many of them try to play in the game with no broadcasting. Remember this is a strategy of the game. One must learn this skill. When to toot your own horn and how much needs to be practiced. Women tend to toot in an insecure fashion. They do it at the wrong time and for the wrong reason. Worst of all, when given the right opportunity, most just clam up.

I’ll give you examples. Our office sends clients to other consultants in the area, three of them are women, and three of them are men. Ken toots his own horn. Each time, he gets certified in new software, he lets us all know about it. He even has new business cards designed with the certification logo. He lets us know about his latest endeavors, client base, etc. The women consultants have told me they can’t stand him. Since I realized he was just advertising, I never took this as a put down. The women felt he was bragging and putting them down. There’s that “Don’t take it personal” lesson here.

Let’s just further examine Ken’s skill. I’ve been on jobs with Ken and noticed that he never loudly toots his horn to the client, only to us. When he first meets with a client, he’s confident, cool, and has done his homework. He already has information about that client’s company. He walks in, with paper in hand and at the first meeting, hands the client both his business card and brochure. He then quietly waits. That’s right; he shuts up. Wow, this is not the Ken the other female consultants see and know.

The client briefly reads the brochure and asks Ken a few questions. Again Ken’s demeanor is modest. Then that male bonding thing takes over. Oh, they both like golf, (it was in his brochure.) They have mutual clients (it was in his brochure). Okay, Ken did it. How can I compete? That’s just it. I don’t have to compete I’m there with Ken. He has all the glory at this moment. So what? This is not the time for me to spit out all my experience. However, that is just what some women do. They feel they have to say something.

Ken brought me along as his colleague. He knows he already has the client and has the confidence that I can handle the job. My turn will come with the women in the office. I don’t need to tell the client all my experience. I’m being paid just the same. That’s what I mean about timing.

Women are often intimidated by another person and feel they must justify their presence. That is why Ken will not work with one of our other female consultants. She didn’t understand this strategic maneuver. You see Ken always bragged loudly to us, his colleagues, but never to a client, because he never felt he had to. Ken, as with most men, think this way. If the client called you and you are in their office, then you have the client. You don’t have to justify being there.

Women feel the need to “secure their position” with the client even though the have the job. Here’s how Julie handled a job with Ken. They setup an appointment, but Julie arrived earlier. Remember Ken is the one who set up the meeting. Now who is Julie to this client - no one. Why is she here? Because she is there without Ken, she put herself in the situation of having to “justify her presence.” She should have waited in the car until Ken arrived. She makes it worse as the game proceeds.

Ken arrives on time, but now appears late because Julie is already there. He’s not happy about that. Again, only his collected nature is shown to the client. He follows his same steps, hands them a brochure, and business card. The client briefly reads the brochure, asked Ken a few questions and just when the client relationship is about to blossom. Julie interrupts by digging in her purse. Oh how men hate that. She pulls a tattered brochure out and hands it to the client. He’s confused - who is she again? Ken tries to handle this situation and introduces her as his assistance. He wouldn’t dare call her his colleague after that outrageous display of behavior. Julie now realizes she isn’t getting the same recognition. She continues to spit out her experience. Guess what, the client doesn’t care and she looks like an insecure schoolgirl.

Oh, you say, but Julie deserves to let the client know her skills too. Yes she does, but her timing was wrong. It was Ken’s approach she should have honored. You see Ken is good at getting the clients, but he’s not good at keeping them. Every job that I went out with Ken, I now have his client. Ken’s approach works with men, but when it came to the nurturing concept of training, women don’t like him. Therefore, the repeat business was given to me not Ken. I waited and showed off my skills on the job.

About the Author
Gina Novelle writes computer How-To Manuals, is a graphic artist, and program designer for Exclusive Markets in Las Vegas Nevada. Her company sponsors the web site (, a support site for the self-employed. She has currently finished the book, “Business Secrets Men Don’t Tell Women” revealing how women and men view self-employment differently! This book is seeking a publisher.


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